We took a one-day hiatus yesterday, but are back and ready to start a fresh winning streak today on a “getaway day” for most of the league. The majority of the games are afternoon tilts today with the Reds/Cards and Giants/Phillies wrapping up their series with early afternoon starts and three AL games as well. But the most interesting game is a late start, and that features the Rockies trying to cap off a sweep against division (and wildcard competitor) rival Los Angeles. The loss of rookie star Trevor Story is a devastating blow, but somehow, someway, the Rockies have forged themselves into legitimate contention. They are only three games back of the second wildcard slot and have the third best run differential of any wildcard contender; better than the Pirates, Mets and Marlins whom most consider more legitimate contenders.
Can the Rox resurrect the Rox-tober magic of nearly a decade ago? It still feels unlikely, but regardless, things are more interesting in Denver than they have been in a quite a long time, and a sweep tonight over the Dodgers would add even more intrigue…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -131 at Colorado Rockies +122 (Total: 10.5)
Kenta Maeda (9-7, 3.23 ERA) vs. Tyler Chatwood (10-6, 3.50 ERA)
On paper, this is a pretty even pitching matchup, and given the Rockies scorching hot streak it feels like +122 is a pretty good value. The only problem is the somewhat expected, but still worse than hoped, Jeryll and Hyde home/away splits for Tyler Chatwood. He has a gaudy 5.68 ERA pitching at home in Coors Field and a 4-6 record. He is a perfect 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA on the road. That’s some crazy divergence.
Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda has been good. But not great. He has only two quality starts in his last five outings and his July ERA was almost five after posting a dazzling April and great June. Perhaps it is just ebb and flow of the season, but it could also be a sign he is running out of gas a little bit. Either way, heading to Coors not pitching one’s sharpest is a quick and easy recipe for trouble.
I think the bats reign supreme tonight and even the sky-high double digit run total is vulnerable. Both starting pitchers are high quality, but a warm evening in Coors is a tough spot to pitch. Look for both teams to continue to score runs – 26 have already been tallied in two games in this series, and for the total to sneak over the 10.5 mark.